Newark Episcopal Diocese votes in Morristown to elect first black bishop

The Rev. Carlye Hughes, Bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.
The Rev. Carlye Hughes, Bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.
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Some history was made Saturday at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, where members of the Diocese of Newark elected the Rev. Carlye J. Hughes as their next bishop.

Hughes, 59, is the first African American, and the first woman, to serve in that role. She will succeed retiring Bishop Mark Beckwith in September.

The matter was decided on the first ballot, with Hughes garnering 62 of 116 clergy votes and 141 of 241 lay votes, according to the Diocese.

The other nominees were the Rev. Lisa W. Hunt, rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Houston, and the Rev. Canon Scott G. Slater, from the Diocese of Maryland.

Hughes was a corporate trainer before her ordination as a priest in 2005. She served at St. James’ Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and as rector of a small parish in Peekskill, NY, prior to becoming rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2012.

At Trinity, she worked “to expand spiritual practices, promote strong relationships with neighborhood schools, increase outreach activity, repair infrastructure, and complete a successful capital campaign,” according to the Diocese, which noted:

“Her ministry has been shaped by asking the question: How do we serve our neighbor who is unlikely to enter this church?”

Hughes and her husband, David Smedley, also love baseball, Broadway musicals, and their cocker spaniel Abbey, according to the Diocese.

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